To explore the commercial viability of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)/wood flour (WF) composites, systems were produced at industry-standard levels of fiber loading. Further, four interfacial modifiers were selected to improve the mechanical properties of PHB/WF composites, including maleated PHB (PHB-g-MA), a low molecular weight epoxy, a low molecular weight polyester, and polymethylene-diphenyl-diisocyante (pMDI). Results showed that all modifiers resulted in improvements in tensile strength and modulus, however, pMDI showed the highest improvements. The pMDI modifier also improved water uptake of the composites. Study of the fracture surfaces showed signs of improved fiber bonding, as did morphological studies by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Interpretation of the DSC and DMA results indicate possible reactions with lubricant, and interactions between PHB and wood fibers with the addition of pMDI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry